.

It's all relative and changes everyday-it's hard to put too much stock in this stuff-the important software is in your head.

  Please give us a brief bio of yourself.

I work as Creative Director for Goodby Silverstein and Partners in San Francisco, CA.

Since I joined Goodby Silverstein and Partners, I've worked on Hewlett-Packard, Saturn, Comcast and Discover Card.

Before moving West, I worked on the VW account at Arnold Worldwide in Boston, MA.

Prior to that I painted and lived as a ski bum for 3 years in Jackson Hole Wyoming.

  What do you do for inspiration?

I don't know that I do anything in particular-although I do find that the pressure of a looming deadline usually gets things moving in the right direction.

Like most people I find that inspiration can happen anywhere in your every day life if you're receptive to it.

  Please list 3 of your favourite sites.

Difficult question but I find myself returning to see the work of Geoff Lillemon of oculart and James Patterson of presstube

I also love searching for random images on Google, the Flickr Browser and the New York public library's digital collection

  What do you regard as being your biggest achievement?

Well I have to say that I'm currently really happy with comcastic and an interactive installation that we created for the saturn SKY.

  What software couldn't you live without?

The day that I rely on software that heavily is the day that I kill myself-wait that doesn't make sense.

I guess it would be pretty hard to live without Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash for a while but these computer programs are just some of the tools that we currently have to work with.

I'm sure our kids will look at this stuff like we look at the etcha-sketch some day. (not that incredible things can't be done with it).

It's all relative and changes everyday-it's hard to put too much stock in this stuff-the important software is in your head.

  What projects do you have in the pipeline?

We just finished an interactive dome installation for the saturn SKY that premiered at Nextfest in chicago.

The SKY is the new convertible roadster from Saturn. The installation consisted of full time lapse sky video projections with spatial sound effects and music that we composed to match it.

We also created interactive feature projections that wrap to the 3D CAD files of the car, which was situated in the center of the dome.

The car was surrounded by kiosks. People were allowed to select features from the kiosk-learn more and then see the feature projected on the surface of the car.

This basically created the illusion that you were looking through the sheet metal into an animated demonstration of the selected feature. It ended up being a pretty powerful example of experiential advertising.

People opted to spend time with the brand learning about the car in this unusual environment without having it forced on them.

  Who do you rate as being the top 3 design companies?

There are too many amazing companies out there but for interactive design I'm partial to companies like the Barbarian Group, Erik Natzke, Number 9, North kingdom, Unit 9, c505, Hi-Res! and Yugo Nakamura...to name a few.

  What effect on traffic do your new designs have?

Web metrics can be deceiving. I don't consider them to be the only viable measure for success. High Traffic counts are great to see though.

With comcastic, we discovered that around 78% of the traffic wasn't coming from advertising or web banners. The site was being posted on websites, blogs and being sent through email. This is probably the highest compliment you can get on the web.

Clients have started to include the term "viral" in the briefs without always knowing what it means. The reality is, the work just has to be good enough for people to want to share it.

  Who is your target audience?

That depends on the client and the 0bjective of the assignment.

  What area of web design lacks the most?

I think there's huge room for improvement in the humor arena.

Smart humor that doesn't necessarily include a person caught on surveillance tape falling down a flight of stairs (although that can be funny as well).

  What did your very first site look like? Is it still online?

As I recall, it was quite frightening. I don't make a habit of holding on to old work, although it would be entertaining to revisit.

  Have you written any books, if not do you plan to?

No-I hate books. Actually my mom is a librarian and I love books, I just don't think I could write one.

  What was the toughest thing you ever did with Flash? How long did you spend on it? Is it still online?

Well I don't personally program in Flash any more-so the toughest things are pulled off by our amazing flash partners.

Having the opportunity to work with people like the Barbarian Group, Erik Natzke, Branden Hall, Number 9, and North Kingdom-I don't necessarily find the need to contribute my hack-tweened flash solutions.

We focus on the concept and design, then work with our partners as they pull off the flash magic that brings the work to life.

We work closely with Erik Natzke on a regular basis and he consistently amazes me with his flash design. He usually bears the brunt of our most difficult flash projects and I tend to go to him with the "is it even possbile.." type questions. I'm convinced he is from another planet.

Comcastic and the Saturn RELAY were 2 of the best recent flash-site accomplishments.

The Flash wizardry that Erik Natzke and Branden Hall pulled off with the puppet theater was mind boggling.

The Barbarian Group did an amazing job with the High Speed challenges/user list and Number 9 dealt with the overall framework that brought all the parts together. This was by far the most difficult project I've worked on-but also the most rewarding.

We worked with the talented swedes of North Kingdom to produce the Saturn Relay site (one of my other favorite sites to work on) which won best in show at FITC last year.

  Do you think Flash is here to stay?

It's hard to know where things will go in the future-especially as the internet and broadcast television continue to merge. But it's hard to imagine it going anywhere in the near future especially now that Adobe is part of the equation.

All the software is just going to get more seamless.

  What are your views on design/graphic school. Do you think someone can get into the field without educational experience in a school environment?

I think education is extremely important. There are too many people that learn the tools and tricks before understanding the theory and historical thought behind smart design.

This can obviously be done with the right discipline but school is a great way to structure your education.

  How have you learned so many Flash/design skills and techniques and can you offer any advice for newbies?

The best thing you can do is spend the time to make mistakes and try as many different solutions as possible.

Taking time to experiment is key and can lead you to new solutions that you didn't originally see.

  What is the most expensive thing you've bought in the last week?

The eight dollar bottle of Chimay was the most expensive thing I bought this week-that and the others that followed.

  What type of overcoat do you wear when Flashing, basically are you a labels man?

If I didn't have to go into work, I would look like howard hughes when he lost his mind.

Thankfully for my wife I have to keep up a semi-decent appearance, but advertising is so casual that I don't have to give it much thought.

  Any parting shots or pearls of wisdom?

"If you're not failing every now and again, it's a sign you're not doing anything very innovative."

-Woody Allen

  It's been a privilege, Will, thanks very much.

The privilege was mine-thank you.


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